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Saturday October 25th 2014

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Gaetz maintains GOP majority in Florida Senate

Press Release: Strong Republican Majority Elected to the Florida Senate
…GOP Holds 26 of 40 State Senate Seats in First Election with Fair Districts Standards…

Tallahassee–Amid historic voter turnout numbers, Floridians elected Republican Senators in 26 of Florida’s 40 new State Senate districts. With today’s election victories, coupled with those of Republican Senators elected during the August Primary, Floridians have chosen a strong Republican majority in the Florida Senate in the first legislative term following the implementation of voter-approved Fair Districts standards.

“Fresh bold ideas matter and they win elections,” said Incoming Florida Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville). “The reason Republicans are winning more Senate seats than pure partisan registration numbers would indicate is because our candidates have made the best case for job creation, limited government and tying education closer to the realities and opportunities of the economy. Tonight’s results prove these issues matter as much to independents and many Democrats as they do to Republicans. These are the better ideas on which we’ll build the new Florida.”

“Our returning Senators as well as a number of our new Senators with prior leadership roles in the Florida House have served through some of the most challenging times in recent history. They’ve proven they can balance the budget, restore education funding, and meet the critical needs of the state without raising taxes,” Senator Gaetz said.

Fifteen new Senators were elected during the 2012 Election cycle. Including ten Republicans, this group of new Senators comprises forty percent of the total Senate membership, a complete turnover of the Senate since 2006.

“I am impressed by level of experience in the field of new Senators. We are fortunate to have the perspective of two new Senators, Senator Simpson and Senator Bradley coming straight from the private sector,” said Senator Gaetz. “I am eager to begin working with Senator Bean who earned a stellar reputation for his work in health care policy in the Florida House and am honored to have the chance to serve with Tom Lee, who served as Senate President in the term prior to my first election. His leadership and experience will be a tremendous asset to the Senate.

The 2012 Election Cycle marks the end of the once in a decade redistricting process and the only election each decade in which senators are elected in all 40 State Senate seats. Moving forward, 20 senators are elected every two years.

“The 2012 redistricting process produced the most competitive State Senate map in modern times,” said Incoming Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville). “Passed by an overwhelming bi-partisan majority, upheld by the Florida Supreme Court and approved without objection by the Obama Justice Department, this map fully reflects the will of Florida voters who two years ago chose to add Fair Districts standards to our state constitution.”

“In Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente’s opinion upholding the new State Senate map, Republicans should, based on voter registration, hold 21 State Senate seats,” Senator Gaetz commented. “The fact that Republican candidates now hold 26 seats tells me that individual candidates and campaigns matter. Having a record matters, and having a message matters.”

“The Republican record and the Republican message are attractive to voters who embrace the values of limited government and fiscal responsibility and believe that the private sector – not the government – creates the jobs that will keep Florida on the road to recovery. We have a great team of Senators and I am looking forward to the works that lies ahead,” concluded Senator Gaetz.